Archive for May, 2010

Well.  I went to bed last night worried that I might be getting a cold and woke up this morning with an achy throat and stuffy nose, but headed over to the gym anyway.  When I got there, I found that I’d gotten my purriod, so I had to walk over to Walgreen’s to pick up the necessary supplies, as well as some Zicam.  When I got BACK to the gym, I found that I had forgotten to pack socks!  So I stormed out of the locker room to tell Phil and Josh, but wound up sitting on a bench and crying.  I was just really annoyed with myself for rushing out of the house without double checking that I had everything and for delaying our workout when I knew Phil had band practice at noon.  Ultimately, we didn’t work out–we wound up sitting together and discussing our progress thus far and what we would be moving towards in the coming weeks.  But not before I retreated back into the locker room to have a breakdown not unlike Kit in the final game in A League of Their Own.

I just have to be glad that the sickness and the fall to the Communists happened on the same day, unpleasant as it is, because now I can just get it out of the way and get back on track.  No self-pity!


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Well, not really “up that hill”–more like “around that track” and “on that treadmill.”  But hey, I’m using someone else’s poetry to express how I feel.  And for the record, I’m thinking of Chromatics, not Kate Bush.

This morning Phil and I met Josh in the elevator on the way up to the gym and he told us, “Not a lot of weights today.  More plyometrics.”  So as we were beginning to stretch I quietly asked Phil what plyometrics were, and he said “Jumping,” and I said, “Oh no.”  See, Phil’s got mad hops, and I have precisely no hops.  So after we stretched, we alternated doing balance work and jumping rope.  The jumping rope was a little easier this time, but both Phil and I struggled with keeping consistent. After that, we did laps around the track, trying to keep our heart rate at 155.  For Phil, that was a jog, and for me it was a brisk walk.  After a while Josh told me to try and bring it up to 162, which put me in this weird space in between a walk and a jog.  Kind of like a trot.  I was trotting like a little show pony, trying to keep my knees up.

After those laps [during which Phil did a mile at 8:58–go Phil!], we did some jumping off of and onto aerobic step benches.  Those were not necessarily hard, but again, Phil has mad hops, and his jumps were clean, with soft landings, and I sometimes felt like I was clobbering the bench.  Plus we had to lower the bench for me.

We headed downstairs after the plyometrics to do a different kind of run.  When we had been running around the track, we had been allowing our heart rates to determine our pace and distance [this is called prescriptive training].  But downstairs, we were using the pace and distance as controls to gauge our heart rates [postscriptive training].  So this time, I couldn’t just trot while Phil lapped me.  We ran a little over a mile on the treadmill at a rate of 5.8 mph.  Right around eight minutes I thought I was going to have to stop because I couldn’t get a big, deep breath in, but I pulled through!  The good news is that Phil’s and my heart rates stayed pretty consistent over the course of eleven minutes.  However, mine stayed about 20 bpm’s above Phil’s.  This will improve in time.

Maintain that squat position!

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Too Legit To Quit

That title is meant to be taken literally, as I am now officially registered for the Devil’s Challenge Triathlon in Baraboo, Wisconsin!

It is called Devil’s Challenge because it takes place on Devil’s Lake.  Phil and I opted not to do the Chicago Triathlon because of the registration cost, and because we were both a little intimidated by its size.

I’m writing this as I run out to improv class, but I wanted to finally get this posted so you peeps know I’m for real!

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You Gotta Feel It

All right, today was a pretty standard workout–we did our core and balance work, then some resistance training like ball squats paired with bicep curls, single leg scaptions using two five-pound plates [those were tough] and single leg rows.

After that, we moved back downstairs into the spinning room for about twenty minutes of um… hell. Seriously.  That spinning stuff is no joke.  We did about four minutes of warming up, then ten minutes of hills and sprints, then four minutes of cooling back down.  When we’re up off the saddles and sprinting as hard as we can, thirty seconds feels like a really long time.  I kind of can’t imagine doing super long spinning sessions, much less long spinning sessions paired with swimming or running. Jaysus!

But I’d like to take this time to appreciate Josh as our trainer.  When we’re at the gym and I look at the other trainers I can’t imagine that people pay them!   Every time I see this one trainer, she’s just blah blah blah-ing about her personal life [“And then she asked me, ‘So are you guys OFFICIALLY anything?’ and I was like, ‘Um, we’re officially DATING!’ I mean, who ASKS that?!”] while the girl she’s training isn’t even breaking a sweat, or there’s this other guy who’s just standing around texting while the guy he’s training is running laps.  And then there’s The Meathead, who today wasn’t even watching the girl’s form [which was pretty sloppy]–he was just looking at himself in the mirror.  But Josh is always engaged and engaging, encouraging and supportive.  I feel like the other people are getting kind of ripped off, and I feel like Phil and I are really fortunate to have Josh as our trainer.   So thanks, Josh!

Keep it up! Fast as you can!

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This’ll be a quick post because I had a somewhat quick session with Josh yesterday.  Since I’m dating a rock star who is on a short tour, I had the opportunity to get some swim tutoring.

And let me say, wow, swimming was so much easier this time around.  That’s not to say that it wasn’t tiring, or hard work; I just found that the actual swimming wasn’t as impossible as it seemed before.  I still got water in my mouth and had to stop at least once every lap to get my hair out of my face [I don’t as of yet have a swim cap], or spit out water, or burp, or blow water out of my nose, or just catch my breath.  But Josh says my stroke is improving, and eventually this will all become second nature.

Also, the crowd at the Bally’s pool at eight o’clock on Friday night is… colorful.  Some guy with the biggest torso I’ve ever seen strode past an old man who looked like Father Time, relaxing in the hot tub.  Not to mention that said old man started yelling nonsense at another person on their way to the steam room.

Pretty soon you’re going to notice the pounds just falling off!

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Before I get started here, I should say that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is a terrible movie, and I don’t know why I’m watching it right now.

Right. So, today was our first day using heart rate monitors, which taught me that my heart rate shoots up much higher and much more quickly than Phil’s.  We did a lot of stuff today that we’ve done before, like push-ups, lateral one-legged hops, lunge-to-balance presses, ball crunches, bicep curls, and our usual core and balance work.  After that we did four sets of one lap walking, one lap jogging, and one lap running, which put us at a mile total.  And my heart rate was jacked during that.  However, the first running lap I floored it and it felt GREAT. The next two running laps were not so pleasant, but on the last one I started giving myself some mental encouragement and was able to pull through.

After that, one of us jumped rope while the other did some drills hopping and shuffling side to side over a jump rope on the ground.  Being a girl, I honestly thought jumping rope would be like riding a bike.  Oh no.  Granted, I was starting with a certain degree of exhaustion, but I kept catching the rope on my left toe, having to start over.  And that’s when I started to tear up a bit.  I didn’t actually cry, but I was getting super frustrated.  The second time around I did a lot better, but still had to stop a couple of times.  After that we did some squats, rows, and lunges.

We closed out the workout with five minutes at a pace that would keep our heart rate at 150, which was a jog for Phil and a brisk walk for me.  During one of my laps this jabroni who had some sort of plastic bag apparatus on under his Sox shirt whistled at me when I walked past.  Really, dude?  I’m here, doing the same work you are, albeit minus the Jewel bag undershirt, and I’ve got to hear this shit?  Come on.

Anyway, it’s a little bit of a bummer that my heart rate is so much more erratic and extreme than Phil’s, but I keep reminding myself that he has a distinct advantage over me, having been more athletic for more of his life. At any rate [haha!], every time I find myself thinking “You know, this triathlon isn’t going to be that hard,” I have a workout like today that reminds me I have a long, long way to go.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I just keep encountering new challenges and am, I hope, improving and overcoming them.

Fight the resistance!

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New World Water

Today Phil and I met with Josh at the gym and started off with some agility tests–one involved us hopping on one foot from square to square in a small tic-tac-toe grid Josh had set up with electrical tape; the other [which was stupidly difficult for me to grasp] was basically hopping from side to side on a bosu ball. After that we did ten minutes of spinning which felt more like ten years of spinning.  I’m exaggerating a bit, but sometimes when we lift our butts off the seats to sprint, I feel like my legs are going to give out.  On the other hand, I can’t help but be pleased when I look down and see how slim my legs look!

After THAT we headed up to the Balustrade of the Dudes to do some weight training.  We used an aerobic step and did one-legged presses, then chest presses resting on a stability ball, then some bicep curls using a resistance band.  That was all pretty hard work and I was pretty sweaty, but I was still looking forward to getting in the pool.

I changed into my suit in a bathroom stall and even though I was wearing swim-y cover up shorts, I still wrapped a towel around my waist.  As I was coming out of the stall, I was thinking to myself how modest I am, and then I turned a corner and it was titties everywhere!  I know everyone doesn’t have the same locker room hang-ups I do [I’m essentially a NeverNude], but my sensibilities were still a little rattled by all the nudity.  I am a square.

And… yeah, I also basically cannot swim.  I will pretty much have to learn all over again.  Sorry, Josh!  Those lessons we had to take as kids on Saturday mornings at Welles Park, thereby having to miss X-Men, did not help me at all!  I suppose I need to get comfortable in the water again, since I really haven’t gone swimming in probably years.  At any rate, I could not coordinate keeping a consistent stroke with breathing every three strokes with making sure to look at the bottom of the pool.  So this is going to be hard.

Keep it up!  Keep those butt cheeks tight!

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